Thursday, June 05, 2008

Islamic Historians (part I)

Baladhuri (?-c. 892 AD)
Full: Ahmad ibn Yahya Baladhuri
احمدبن يحيي بلاذري
Work: Futuh al Buldan (Conquests of Lands)
فتوح البلدان

The Iranian historian Baladhuri (died 279 Hijri) considers Aran (Aghvank) part of Armenia. He clarifies the fact of a considerable Armenian presence in Aran (Aghvank) as follows: “An inhabitant of Bardha (Partaw, Պարտաւ), Muhammad ibn Ismail and others, Abu Bara Anbassat ibn Bahr Armani also Muhammad ibn Bashar Qali from their notables and Barmak ibn Abdullah Dabili (of Dvin) and Muhammad ibn Mkhis Khlati and a number of others recounted about persons knowledgeable in affaires of the Armenians and I relate their words in a correct manner, matching them against one another and completing them. It’s been known that Shmshat and Qaliqla (Cilicia) and Arjis (Arjesh, Արճեշ) and Bajonis are parts of fourth Armenia and the Khora of Bosforjan (Vaspurakan) and Dabil (Dvin) and Seraj and Baghrevand (Bagrevand) is called third Armenia and Jorzan (Georgia) second Armenia and Sisjan (Sisakan) and Aran (Aghvank) and Tiflis (Tbilisi) are first Armenia… Jorzan and Aran fell under the Khazars and the rest came under Roman occupation.”

That Azarbaijan (Atrpatakan) and Aghvank were two completely separate entities throughout history is also reflected in the religious developments in both regions. Baladhuri tells us that the people of Azarbaijan (the real) were already Muslims short after the Arab invasions: “When Ali ibn abu Taleb became caliph, he appointed Saad ibn Saria Khazaii later Ash’ath ibn Qeis as rulers of Azarbaijan (the real H.) …When Ash’ath arrived in Azarbaijan (the real H.), he saw that most of the people had converted to Islam and read the Qur’an” while it is known that the acceptance of Islam did not go so smoothly in Aghvank. The Aghvans assimilated mainly with Armenians in the following centuries.

When in December 2005 the genocidal “Azeris” were barbarically destroying the centuries old stone-crosses of the ancient Jugha cemetery in Nakhijevan, in response to the pleadings of the head of the Armenian church Garegin II to stop the savagery, the religious leader of fake “Azerbaijan” Allahshokur Pashazadeh shamelessly retorted: “do not worry, these are the monuments of our Albanian (Aghvan H.) “ancestors”.” That Nakhijevan could never have been a part of faraway Aghvank is obvious however, it is noteworthy to quote a part of Baladhuri’s narration of the first Arab incursion into Aghvank: “the invaders reached Aran (Aghvank H.) from the south and crossing through Nakhijevan”. ●

Dinwari (Dinawari) (828-894 AD)
Full: Abu Hanifa Ahmad ibn Dawood Dinwari
ابو جنيفه احمدبن داود دينوري
Work: Akhbar ut Tawal
اخبار الطوال

The renowned third century Hijri Iranian historian, scientist and literary figure, author of at least twenty one works in different fields, Dinwari (died around 281 Hijri) has also recorded information about geographic features of Armenia, Azarbaijan (Atrpatakan) and Aghvank through his account of Babak Khorramdin’s history. Aghvank is considered part of Armenia according to this historical narration.

He relates the administrative changes of the Iranian Sassanid Empire in the time of Anushirvan (Khosro, Khusrau I) as follows: “Anushirvan divided the Iranian kingdom into four major iqlims (realms, koosts) and appointed a trustee as the ruler for each. One of these iqlims was consisted of Khorasan, Sistan and Kerman; the other Isfahan, Ghom (Qom), the lands of Jebal (Medes), Azarbaijan (Atrpatakan) and Armenia; the third Fars, Ahvaz and until Bahrain and the fourth iqlim included Iraq until the borders with the Romans.”

Dinwari confirms that the River Kur is the southernmost part of Aghvank and the Arax River separates Armenia from Azarbaijan (Atrpatakan). ●

Ya’qubi (?-897 AD)
Full: Ibn Wadih Ahmad ibn abu Ya’qub Ishaq ibn Jafar Isfahani
ابن واضح احمدبن ابي يعقوب اسحاق بن جغفر اصفهاني
Works: Tarikh Ya’qubi (Ya’qubi History), Al Buldan (Countries)
تاريخ يعقوبي

Ibn Wadih Ahmad ibn abu Ya’qub Ishaq ibn Jafar Isfahani (died 284 Hijri) is a well known Islamic historian and geographer. He was a descendant of Wadih, the Abbasid caliph Mansour’s appointed governor of Armenia and Azarbaijan (the real). Ya’qubi lived in Armenia for some years and served some of its governors.

In his Tarikh (History), Ya’qubi considers Aran (Aghvank) a province in Armenia and says it was known as the third Armenia that was conquered by the Iranian king Ghobad (Sassanid king Kavad, Kaveh). He writes: “The third part (Armenia) includes Bardha (Partaw) a city in the province of Aran (Aghvank), Beylakan (Pytakaran) and Bab ul Abwab (Darband, Chor)”

In his geographic work Al Buldan (Countries) he names places and cities in three parts of Armenia, first: Dabil (Dvin), Qaliqla (Cilicia), Khlat, Shimshad, Savad; second: Bardha (Partaw, Պարտաւ), Beylakan (Pytakaran, Փայտակարան), Qabalah (Kabalak, Կապաղակ), Darband; third: Khazran (Jorzan, Georgia), Tiflis (Tbilisi), etc. As cities of Azarbaijan he cites: Ardebil, Varthan, Shiz, Marand, Tabriz, Mianeh, Urmia, Khoy, Salmas, etc.

In Al Buldan, Ya’qubi calls the language of the people of Azarbaijan (Atrpatakan) Pahlavi Azari and considers the people of that region of Iranian origin.

It’s noteworthy to mention the events of 238 Hijri (852 AD) in his History where the Turkish Buqa khan was sent by Al-Mutawakkil (847-861) to suppress the uprising of Armenians: “Buqa killed many Armenians and their leaders (why am I not surprised? H.)”, eventually Buqa was defeated by the rebels and the caliph appointed Muhammad ibn Khalid ibn Yazid ibn Mazid Sheibani as the ruler of Armenia. The rebels ended the uprising and Muhammad pardoned them. ●

Ibn Khordadbeh (c. 820-912/913 AD)
ابن خردادبه
Full: Abulqassem Ubeidullah ibn Abdullah ibn Khordadbeh
ابوالقاسم عبيدالله بن عبدالله بن خردادبه
Work: Al Masalek wal Mamalek (Roads and Countries)
المسالك و الممالك

Ibn Khordadbeh (died 300 Hijri) was the director of communication and information of western parts of Iran in the time of the Abbasid caliph Al Wathiq (842-847 AD). He is the author of a geographic work about the roads and countries. The roads of Armenia, Georgia, Aghvank up to areas around the Caspian are described in his work.

He says Armenia consists of four parts. He considers Aran (Aghvank) part of first Armenia (Armenia Maior). He writes: “The First Armenia includes Sisjan (Sisakan, Սիսական) and Aran (Aghvank) and Tiflis (Tbilisi) and Bardha (Partaw, Պարտաւ) and Beylakan (Pytakaran, Փայտակարան) and Qabalah (Kabalak, Կապաղակ) and Shirvan.

Ibn Khordadbeh gives separate accounts of cities in Azarbayegan (Azarbaijan, Atrpatakan) and Aran. He places cities and villages in Azarbaijan to the South of the Arax, north of Zanjan and Hamadan and describes Aran and Georgia with cities Tiflis (Tbilisi), Bardhae (Partaw), Beylakan (Pytakaran), Qabalah (Kabalak), Shirvan, etc. and mentions that they were conquered by Iranian king Anushirvan from Khazar rule.

Confirming yet again that a “great Azerbaijan” two sides of the Arax River is nothing but fairytale and a 20th century historic falsification, he lists the rulers of lands within Iran and outside its boundaries who obeyed the central Iranian government keeping some kind of independence: Great Kushan shah, Great Armanestan shah (Armenia), Borjan shah (Georgian), Gilan shah… Aturpatekan shah (Azarbaijan the real), Kerman shah, Alan shah (Alans = Ossetians), Turan shah… Kashmiran shah, Reyhan shah (in India), Aran shah (Aghvank), Shirvan shah, etc., etc., etc. ●


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